No. 8/9 Kansas Derails Red Raiders in Second Half, Wins 73-51
LUBBOCK, Texas — Cliff Alexander, Brannen Greene and Perry Ellis combined for 30 second-half points, pouring gasoline on the fire underneath the Kansas offense in the final frame to knock off Texas Tech, 73-51, Tuesday night inside United Supermarkets Arena.
Still atop the Big 12 Conference standings, Kansas (20-4, 9-2) had to go into Lubbock to face a Texas Tech (12-13, 2-10) squad that plays significantly better at home. While the Jayhawks defeated the Red Raiders by more than 30 points in Lawrence exactly one month ago, the switch of scenery made a big difference. Entering the evening, Texas Tech averaged 50.8 points per game on the road – but 68.8 points per game at home.
Thanks to an overpowering second half that saw Kansas fire off a 72.7 percent (16-of-22) shooting efficiency and 6-of-7 from three-point range, KU shook off its underwhelming first-half performance and held TTU to its second-lowest point total at home this season. That marks 26-consecutive years that Kansas has chalked up 20 wins, the longest-active streak in the NCAA.
Sophomore guard Wayne Selden, Jr., didn’t mind where he was. For the fourth-straight game, he bombed away from three-point range and chalked up double-figures. Selden led all players with 16 points on 4-of-7 shooting from three-point range. Ellis started his night 17 points away from 1,000 for his career. While he only tallied two points in the opening frame, Ellis cranked out 12 points in the final 20 minutes to end his night with 14 points and a game-high nine rebounds. He will take the court against Baylor on Feb. 14 in need of only three more points for his career milestone.
Sophomore guard Frank Mason III extended his double-digit scoring streak to 21 games and nearly tallied a double-double with 10 points and eight assists. Fellow sophomore, sharpshooter Brannen Greene, pushed his own double-digit streak to four games and is now 62.5 percent accurate from three-point range in Big 12 play after his 2-for-3 shooting on Tuesday.
For the first time in nearly two months, head coach Bill Self made a change to his starting five. Freshman forward Cliff Alexander earned his second start of the year – and it went noticeably better than his previous opportunity at Temple. It didn’t exactly start that way, as Alexander threw two passes away in his first two touches, but he found his footing doing what he does best. He swatted back-to-back blocks that resulted in threes for Selden and freshman guard Kelly Oubre, Jr. By night’s end, Alexander tallied 10 points, five rebounds, tied his career-high with four blocks and never turned the ball over again.
Freshman forward Norense Odiase led the Red Raiders with 13 points and eight rebounds, while junior guard Devaugntah Williams followed him with 11 points. Freshman forward Zach Smith tallied 10 points and led his team with two assists as TTU dished out only six assists compared to KU’s 15.
Only 11 seconds were needed for Tech’s first basket, a drive through the lane by Toddrick Gotcher, but more than eight minutes passed until the next one. Kansas took advantage with a 15-2 run, but the scoring spree aggravated the Red Raiders on their own floor. After Tech started the game making just two of its first 13 shots, the Red Raiders put together a 7-0 run in roughly 90 seconds. With their early lead sliced to two, 17-15, Self used a timeout.
Tech forced the issue, coming out of the pause to wreak havoc on the defensive end. The Red Raiders blocked three Kansas threes, giving the home team room to tie the game when senior Robert Turner connected on a three-pointer, 20-20. Plays broke down on both sides as the teams were a combined 3-for-15 on their way to halftime. Yet, Kansas made the ugliness work. Breaking up five-straight Jayhawk misses, Selden answered with five-straight points, including a buzzer-beating three-pointer to give KU a 27-22 halftime lead.
More prepared out of the break, the Jayhawks came out making all kinds of shots. Selden and Mason connected from behind the arc and Ellis used a left-handed drive for a layup. Finally joining the party, Greene the three-point sniper drained one from the corner – his first of the game and KU’s fourth-straight make to open the half. Ellis made KU a perfect 5-for-5 through the first five minutes of the second half as KU took its largest lead of the game, 43-28.
Tech still came after the Jayhawks, shooting at a 50 percent clip midway through the final frame, but Kansas was relentless. The Jayhawks missed only twice in the first 11 minutes of the frame, good for a blistering 81.8 percent. Greene and Mason dialed in again, both pulling up from the top of the key to extend KU’s lead to 20 points, 59-39.
Contest-worthy dunks from Greene and Alexander finally saw the Jayhawks let loose for good. The lead sailed toward the 30-point margin when Self subbed in his reserves. Juniors Evan Manning and Hunter Mickelson connected on KU’s last points of the game to land at the 73-51 win.
Kansas returns to Allen Fieldhouse on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, to host No. 16/16 Baylor at 12 p.m., on CBS. The Jayhawks will then play at No. 21/20 West Virginia on Feb. 16 in their third of four ESPN Big Monday appearances of the 2014-15 season. The Jayhawks will return home to host TCU on Saturday, Feb. 21, at 3 p.m., on either ESPN or ESPN2.
KU STARTERS (Season/Career Starts): So. G Frank Mason, III (24/27), So. G Wayne Selden, Jr. (24/59), Fr. G Kelly Oubre, Jr. (16/16), Jr. F Perry Ellis (24/61), Fr. F Cliff Alexander (2/2)
SERIES INFO: Kansas leads, 29-4
ATTENDANCE: 8,397 (15,098 capacity)
- Marked the 26th year in a row that Kansas has tallied 20 or more wins, the longest active streak in the NCAA. (North Carolina holds the record with 31-consecutive 20 win seasons from 1970-71 to 2000-01).
- Secured at least a .500 record in conference play, which is also the 26th-consecutive season that KU has posted a .500 or better record in league action (beginning in 1989-90), tying the third-longest active streak in the NCAA with Kentucky and behind only Xavier (32) and Murray State (27).
- Made Kansas 20-4 overall, giving the Jayhawks 20 wins for the 26th-consecutive season (beginning in 1989-90) and 9-2 in Big 12 play.
- Extended KU’s win streak against Texas Tech to 12-straight and improved KU’s all-time series advantage against Texas Tech to 29-4, including a 22-4 mark in Big 12 games.
- Marked the fifth-straight win for KU against TTU inside United Supermarkets Arena (formerly United Spirit Arena), and improved Kansas to 11-4 against Tech in Lubbock (7-3 in USA).
- Improved Self to 345-73 while at Kansas, 16-6 against Texas Tech (15-3 at Kansas) and 552-178 overall.
- Made KU 2,146-826 all-time.
- KU’s 72.7 percent shooting efficiency (16-of-22) in the second half tied the Jayhawks’ season-best shooting percentage in a single half of play this season. Kansas also shot 72.7 percent (16-of-22) in the second half against Baylor on Jan. 7, 2015. That is the sixth time this season that KU shot 60 percent or better in a half.
- The 72.7 percent in a half ranks as the fourth-best shooting efficiency in a half since Kansas started keeping half-only stats in the 1988-89 season. (86.7, 2nd half vs. Colorado, 2/25/89; 85.0, 2nd half vs. Missouri, 1/19/91; 79.3, 1st half vs. Baylor, 1/17/11).
- For the first time in 12 games, head coach Bill Self altered his starting lineup. He elected to go with freshman F Cliff Alexander in place of junior F Jamari Traylor. Self has used six different lineups this season.
- In the first half, Kansas chalked up 15 points in just seven minutes. For the next 13 minutes of the first half, KU scored just 12 points. That’s the fourth time in Big 12 Conference play that Kansas has scored less than 30 points in a half.
- Texas Tech is practically two different teams at home and on the road. Entering the contest, TTU averaged 68.8 points per game at home and just 50.8 on the road. That coincides with the Red Raiders’ 54 points in Lawrence (1/10). Kansas held TTU to an even lower 51 points on Tuesday, the Red Raiders’ second-lowest home total of the year (42 vs. TCU).
- On the flipside, Texas Tech entered the night holding their guests to just 57.9 points per game inside the United Supermarkets Arena this season. On Tuesday, Kansas busted that average by more than 15 points.
- At 11-for-20 from three-point range, the Jayhawks have now made 10 or more threes in each of their last three games. In comparison, the most threes the Jayhawks made in a single game in 2013-14 was 10 – one time.
- KU’s consecutive string of three-straight games with 10 or more threes is the longest such streak since reeling-off four games in a row: 11 threes against Central Arkansas on Nov. 19, 2009, 10 against Oakland on Nov. 25, 14 against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 27, and 11 against Alcorn State on Dec. 2, 2009.
- Over the previous three games, Kansas has now made 31 three-pointers compared to 48 successful tries on shots inside of the three-point line, equaling out to the Jayhawks getting 65 percent of their field-goal production from three-point land during the last three contests.
- In the first half, Kansas attempted 13 three-pointers in the first half, one short of a team-high for the season. However, after the first 20 minutes the Jayhawks had attempted the 13 threes and had only taken 14 shots from inside the arc.
- In the first half Kansas made half of its 10-total field goal attempts from three-point land (5-of-13).
- Kansas outdid the Red Raiders on the glass, 36-29, a feat KU had not accomplished in back-to-back games. That marks the 16th time this season that the Jayhawks have outrebounded their opponent.
- That’s the sixth time this season KU has seen five players reach double-figures: sophomore G Wayne Selden, Jr. (16), junior F Perry Ellis (14), sophomore G Frank Mason III (10), sophomore G Brannen Greene (10) and freshman F Cliff Alexander (10).
- Junior F Perry Ellis will have to wait just a little longer to reach 1,000 career points. He went to the lockerroom at halftime with just two points. The Wichita, Kansas native was explosive in the second half, scoring 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting to finish with 14 points and 997 for his career.
- Freshman F Cliff Alexander made his second start of the season and first since starting at Temple (12/22/14). Though he turned the ball over twice in the first two minutes, he didn’t commit another for the rest of the game. He finished with 10 points, five rebounds and tied his career-high with four blocks.
- Sophomore G Brannen Greene continued his tirade from behind the arc. He started the day as the best three-point shooter in conference play at 62.1 percent and added a 2-for-3 mark from three-point range on Tuesday to make him a smoking 62.5 percent (20-of-32) in Big 12 games.
- Aside from a trip to TCU where he did not attempt a three, Greene has made multiple triples in six of the last seven games – including Texas Tech (2-of-3). The marksman is 17-of-24 (70.8 percent) during this span.
- For the season, Greene is shooting 52.3 percent (34-of-65) from three-point range, which puts him in contention of becoming the best three-point percentage shooter for a season in KU history as a minimum of 60 attempts are requited in the Kansas record books. First place currently belongs to Kirk Hinrich and his 50.5 percent (55-of-109) during the 2000-2001 season.
- Sophomore G Frank Mason III’s 10 points extended his double-digit scoring streak to 21-straight games. He is now one of only four Jayhawks to record 21-straight games of 10+ points the Bill Self era. Mason joins Wayne Simien (26, 2004-05), Thomas Robinson (27, 2011-12) and Marcus Morris (27, 2010-11).
- Sophomore G Wayne Selden, Jr., leads the team with 13 games with multiple three-pointers this year, with Tuesday being his 13th (4-of-7).
- Although Selden most notable provides his scoring outburst in the second halves of games, his 13 points in the first half on Tuesday marked the first time this season he has reached double figures in the first half of a game. He finished with a game-high 16 points.
- Freshman G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk checked in for the first time since the TCU game (1/28) and his nine minutes were his most in eight games.
- Junior G Evan Manning scored for the second time this season, while redshirt junior F Hunter Mickelson scored the last KU points of the game.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.